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Question about True brew kits?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:08 pm
by apg4104
What is the point of the pound of barley that they give you in the kit when you could just use the liquid or dme? Does it give you a better "beer" flavor? Also if I were to add more barley than the recipe called for (say one or two lbs more) would that contribute to or hurt my beer.

Ps- first post and I'm brewing my 3rd batch of beer this weekend.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:22 pm
by alms66
I've never bought one, but I'd guess that the pound of malt is specialty malt(s) that don't require mashing, most likely what's called Crystal (or Caramel) Malt. More than one pound of crystal malt will not make a better beer in most cases. If they don't tell you what the malts are in the kit, I'd recommend not messing with the recipe, unless you just want to add a little extra alcohol to it, in which case, I'd go with an extra pound or two of extra light DME, added 15 minutes before you take the wort off the boil.

...in a rush, don't have time to be more specific, someone else will be along shortly to fill in the gaps, I'd wager.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:35 pm
by Mob_Barley
What kind of beer is the kit? We can google it and see if the manufacturer lists the ingredients. Once we know what the malt is then we can tell you why it is there.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:53 pm
by aleguy
The malt is definitely there to add some flavor that is not present in extract. What that flavor is, is determined by the type of malt. Many kits have what are called "steeping grains." These grains are what make the beer one style or another. Stouts will have some roast barley and perhaps some chocolate malt and/or crystal. A pale ale might just have some crystal or even just some Maris Otter.
Alms66 is correct in that most of these malts do not need to be mashed (Convert the starches to sugar) but you should also not leave them in your brewing liquor (water) at temperatures above 170* F regardless of what the instructions tell you.
I'm sure someone already told you to throw away the yeast that came with the kit and use Safale US 05 instead (04 if it is a British style.) Good luck and happy brewing. I hope this helps.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:53 pm
by apg4104
Thank you for your help. I did use the kit yeast for the first brew, then used the safale for the second. The difference between the two beers was amazing. Thanks again!